Sacramento – Earlier today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed FY 21-22 budget, including targeted investments to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), an agricultural group that represents small and mid-sized farmers in California, applauded Governor Newsom for investing in underserved small farm businesses and ecological pest management.
“For too long, small-scale, black, indigenous and farmers of color, have not had equal access to state and federal resources and programs,” said CAFF’s Policy Director, Dave Runsten. “The Governor’s budget signals new investments in historically underserved farmers. We urge the legislature to move quickly to approve funds aimed at helping these small businesses overcome the current economic crisis. Not only will this serve our farmers, but it will also support local food economies.
“CAFF is also pleased to see a bold and overdue proposal to increase fees on toxic pesticides to support increased investments in sustainable pest management. By reviving farmer-to-farmer learning programs and on-farm research like CAFF’s Biological Integrated Farming Systems program, more adoption of these innovative practices will mean safer ecosystems and communities as well as more resilient farms. CAFF will work hard to make the case for these new funds and investments to the legislature.
‘Finally, for the health of our children and our planet, we at CAFF have a renewed sense of hope to see additional investments proposed for multiple programs that we have long championed, such as local farm-to-school food procurement as well as carbon-sequestering soil health, irrigation efficiency and other ecological agriculture programs, all of which help farms mitigate and adapt to climate change.”